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Aandeel AMG Critical Materials N.V. AEX:AMG.NL, NL0000888691

Laatste koers (eur) Verschil Volume
15,240   -0,050   (-0,33%) Dagrange 14,980 - 15,370 130.986   Gem. (3M) 221,8K

AMG - Lithium hydroxide factory EU 2023 (updates)

162 Posts
Pagina: «« 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 9 »» | Laatste | Omlaag ↓
  1. Lithium Koning 5 februari 2023 20:11
    AMG Lithium Signs MOU with FREYR Battery for Supply of Battery-Grade Lithium Hydroxide

    Amsterdam, 31 January 2023 --- AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V. ("AMG", EURONEXT AMSTERDAM: "AMG") announces its wholly owned subsidiary, AMG Lithium GmbH (“AMG Lithium”), has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with FREYR Battery (NYSE: FREY) (“FREYR”), a developer of clean, next-generation battery cell production capacity. The basis of the MOU is for AMG Lithium to supply FREYR between 3,000 to 5,000 tons per annum of battery-grade lithium hydroxide.

    The agreement between AMG Lithium and FREYR further lays out deepening the understanding of the technical requirements and future needs of both parties. In particular, the reduction of the carbon footprint throughout the supply chain is a common goal for both parties.

    “This MOU represents another important step towards an independent and sustainable lithium supply chain for Europe,” said Dr. Stefan Scherer, CEO of AMG Lithium GmbH. “We are looking forward to working together with FREYR in order to de-risk and de-carbonize the lithium supply for Europe.”

    About AMG

    AMG is a global critical materials company at the forefront of CO2 reduction trends. AMG produces highly engineered specialty metals and mineral products and provides related vacuum furnace systems and services to the transportation, infrastructure, energy, and specialty metals & chemicals end markets.

    AMG Clean Energy Materials segment combines AMG’s recycling and mining operations, producing materials for infrastructure and energy storage solutions while reducing the CO2 footprint of both suppliers and customers. AMG Clean Energy Materials segment spans the vanadium, lithium, and tantalum value chains. AMG Critical Materials Technologies segment combines AMG’s leading vacuum furnace technology line with high-purity materials serving global leaders in the aerospace sector. AMG Critical Minerals segment consists of AMG’s mineral processing operations in antimony, graphite, and silicon metal.

    With approximately 3,300 employees, AMG operates globally with production facilities in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, the United States, China, Mexico, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, and Mozambique, and has sales and customer service offices in Japan (www.amg-nv.com).
  2. Andre S. 23 februari 2023 01:08
    - The spodumene production expansion project in AMG Brazil is progressing. The project will solidify AMG’s low-cost position. The objective is to be at full capacity in the second half of 2023.

    - The AMG Lithium refinery in Bitterfeld, Germany, Europe’s first lithium hydroxide refinery, is under construction, and commissioning for the first 20,000-ton module of the battery-grade lithium hydroxide upgrader will commence in the fourth quarter of 2023.

    - AMG Lithium has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with FREYR Battery, the basis of which is for AMG Lithium to supply FREYR between 3,000 to 5,000 tons per annum of battery-grade lithium hydroxide.

    - AMG Brazil, JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation (“JXNMM”) and TANIOBIS GmbH announced a strategic partnership in December 2022 for the production and supply of tantalum concentrate from AMG’s Mibra Mine in Brazil. JXNMM will invest in the expansion of tantalum concentrate production that is occurring in combination with AMG’s already announced expansion of spodumene capacity. All tantalum pre-concentrate will be sold to TANIOBIS, providing long-term stability in tantalum sales and corresponding by-product credits to lithium production costs for AMG Brazil.
  3. Lithium Koning 23 februari 2023 18:25
    Hier zit veel potentieel in. Een combinatie van short-term storage en long-term storage.

    AMG LIVA put its first industrial battery – the Hybrid Energy Storage System (“HESS”) – into fully automatic operation mode in AMG Graphite’s plant in Hauzenberg in November 2022
  4. Andre S. 20 maart 2023 14:00
    EU Commission: Ursula von der Leyen:

    "We will identify strategic projects, all along the supply chain. From extracting to refining, from processing to recycling.
    We have to make sure, that the future of the industry of the industry lays in Europe."


    Lithium demand is expected to rise 26 times towards 2050.
  5. Lithium Koning 23 maart 2023 14:13
    Zinnwald Lithium to Raise GBP14 Mln to Develop Germany Project

    Published: March 22, 2023 at 1:16 p.m. ET

    Zinnwald Lithium PLC said Wednesday that it will conduct an equity fundraising to raise a minimum of 14 million pounds ($17.1 million) to advance its wholly-owned project in Germany.

    The lithium-development company said it will issue shares at a price of 10.41 pence each, a premium of 10% to the 20-day volume weighted average price of shares as of the close of market on Monday.

    The fundraising is being led by AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group NV, which is subscribing for a 25% shareholding. Existing substantial shareholders Henry Maxey and Mark Tindall will subscribe for new shares to maintain their existing shareholdings.

    The company will also conduct a retail offer at the placing price.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Zinnwald Lithium' Shares Jump on Premium Fund Raising

    Published: March 23, 2023 at 4:33 a.m. ET

    Shares of Zinnwald Lithium PLC rose 24% on Thursday after the company said that it has raised 18.7 million pounds ($23 million) via the premium share placing first announced late Wednesday.

    The lithium-development company has issued 180.1 million new ordinary shares at 10.41 pence, a 26% premium to its closing price of 8.24 pence on Wednesday.

    Late Wednesday Zinnwald said it was planning to raise a minimum of GBP14 million to advance its wholly-owned project in Germany.

    The fundraising has been led by AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group NV, which has subscribed for 119 million of the shares, giving it a 25.13% shareholding in the company.

    Existing substantial shareholders Henry Maxey and Mark Tindall have also subscribed for new shares.

    Shares at 0825 GMT were up 2.01 pence at 10.25 pence.
  6. PJF 23 maart 2023 14:55
    quote:

    Lithium Koning schreef op 23 maart 2023 14:13:

    Zinnwald Lithium to Raise GBP14 Mln to Develop Germany Project

    Published: March 22, 2023 at 1:16 p.m. ET

    Zinnwald Lithium PLC said Wednesday that it will conduct an equity fundraising to raise a minimum of 14 million pounds ($17.1 million) to advance its wholly-owned project in Germany.

    The lithium-development company said it will issue shares at a price of 10.41 pence each, a premium of 10% to the 20-day volume weighted average price of shares as of the close of market on Monday.

    The fundraising is being led by AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group NV, which is subscribing for a 25% shareholding. Existing substantial shareholders Henry Maxey and Mark Tindall will subscribe for new shares to maintain their existing shareholdings.

    The company will also conduct a retail offer at the placing price.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Zinnwald Lithium' Shares Jump on Premium Fund Raising

    Published: March 23, 2023 at 4:33 a.m. ET

    Shares of Zinnwald Lithium PLC rose 24% on Thursday after the company said that it has raised 18.7 million pounds ($23 million) via the premium share placing first announced late Wednesday.

    The lithium-development company has issued 180.1 million new ordinary shares at 10.41 pence, a 26% premium to its closing price of 8.24 pence on Wednesday.

    Late Wednesday Zinnwald said it was planning to raise a minimum of GBP14 million to advance its wholly-owned project in Germany.

    The fundraising has been led by AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group NV, which has subscribed for 119 million of the shares, giving it a 25.13% shareholding in the company.

    Existing substantial shareholders Henry Maxey and Mark Tindall have also subscribed for new shares.

    Shares at 0825 GMT were up 2.01 pence at 10.25 pence.
    Interessant nieuws. Blijkbaar was er meer dan voldoende animo en is de inschrijving met bijna 34% overtekend. AMG krijgt een belang van 25% in dit bedrijf. Op basis van dat wat eerder hier is gepost door o.a. DZR lijken mij dit kansrijke projecten. Als AMG deze mijnen succesvol weet te ontginnen hebben ze een enorme voorsprong op concurrenten doordat het gehele proces van winning tot verwerking in Duitsland plaatsvindt. Lijkt me weer een extra reden voor een uitnodiging aan de automakers om zich te melden.
  7. forum rang 10 DeZwarteRidder 23 maart 2023 15:04
    quote:

    PJF schreef op 23 maart 2023 14:55:

    [...]

    Interessant nieuws. Blijkbaar was er meer dan voldoende animo en is de inschrijving met bijna 34% overtekend. AMG krijgt een belang van 25% in dit bedrijf. Op basis van dat wat eerder hier is gepost door o.a. DZR lijken mij dit kansrijke projecten. Als AMG deze mijnen succesvol weet te ontginnen hebben ze een enorme voorsprong op concurrenten doordat het gehele proces van winning tot verwerking in Duitsland plaatsvindt. Lijkt me weer een extra reden voor een uitnodiging aan de automakers om zich te melden.
    AMG gaat niks ontginnen; dat gebeurt door Zinnwald, die nog minstens een half miljard nodig heeft om een mijn op te starten.
  8. PJF 23 maart 2023 16:38
    quote:

    DeZwarteRidder schreef op 23 maart 2023 15:04:

    [...]

    AMG gaat niks ontginnen; dat gebeurt door Zinnwald, die nog minstens een half miljard nodig heeft om een mijn op te starten.
    Ik zal de zaken niet zo letterlijk formuleren, natuurlijk gaat Zinnwald dit ontginnen. Het gaat om het grote plaatje, nl. dat AMG betrokken is bij het gehele proces en dat het " lokaal " gerealiseerd wordt.
    Die investering van 500 miljoen zegt helemaal niets. Het mag van mij ook 700 miljoen zijn. Voor iedere investering die je doet, maak je van te voren calculaties voor dat je die doet. Ik neem aan dat dit nu ook is gebeurd.
    Ongeacht de kosten die er mee zijn gemoeid, mogen we toch veronderstellen dat de profits veel hoger zijn, anders beginnen ze niet aan dergelijke projecten.
    Een ondernemer denkt in kansen en mogelijkheden en niet in beperkingen.
  9. forum rang 10 DeZwarteRidder 23 maart 2023 16:53
    quote:

    PJF schreef op 23 maart 2023 16:38:

    [...]

    Ik zal de zaken niet zo letterlijk formuleren, natuurlijk gaat Zinnwald dit ontginnen. Het gaat om het grote plaatje, nl. dat AMG betrokken is bij het gehele proces en dat het " lokaal " gerealiseerd wordt.
    Die investering van 500 miljoen zegt helemaal niets. Het mag van mij ook 700 miljoen zijn. Voor iedere investering die je doet, maak je van te voren calculaties voor dat je die doet. Ik neem aan dat dit nu ook is gebeurd.
    Ongeacht de kosten die er mee zijn gemoeid, mogen we toch veronderstellen dat de profits veel hoger zijn, anders beginnen ze niet aan dergelijke projecten.
    Een ondernemer denkt in kansen en mogelijkheden en niet in beperkingen.
    De eventuele winst van Zinnwald (per ton spodumene 6%) zal altijd minder zijn dan de vergelijkbare winst van AMG.

    Het grootste probleem voor Zinnwald is het rondkrijgen van de financiering.
  10. Andre S. 30 maart 2023 17:52
    Amsterdam, 30 March 2023 — AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V. (“AMG”, EURONEXT AMSTERDAM: “AMG”) will start production of lithium hydroxide in Bitterfeld in the fourth quarter of 2023. Dr. Heinz Schimmelbusch, CEO and Chairman of the Management Board, presented the plans for the refinery today in Frankfurt. As early as 2024, subsidiary AMG Lithium GmbH will produce 20,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide annually in Bitterfeld-Wolfen – enough for batteries for around 500,000 electric vehicles (“EVs”). AMG’s first module is sold out and by 2030, AMG plans to expand annual production to 100,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide.

    Dr. Heinz Schimmelbusch, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of AMG N.V. said, “With our production of lithium hydroxide in Germany, we are making an important contribution to electromobility in Europe. And by establishing our own complete lithium value chain, we are supporting the European battery material independence as the electric vehicle industry continues to expand.”

    “Battery production is currently heavily dominated by Asian countries. We will be ready to supply the European electric vehicle market as it transitions to full electromobility by 2035. In addition to providing lithium, this includes above all our technological know-how to produce the basic material for industrial production in the best and most reliable quality,” said Dr. Stefan Scherer, CEO of AMG Lithium.

    From mining to the next generation of lithium products, AMG aims to cover the entire lithium value chain by 2026: from spodumene extraction at its own mine in Brazil, to the production of technical-grade lithium carbonate in Brazil, to the production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide in Germany.

    To this end, AMG is expanding the refinery at the Bitterfeld site to a total of five modules by 2030, which will produce 100,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide annually. The current total projected investment volume from extraction to processing and refining of the lithium is €1 billion. Lithium hydroxide is an important raw material for the production of cathode materials for batteries in EVs and thus for the path to climate-neutral mobility. With the refinery in Bitterfeld, AMG is primarily aiming to supply customers who manufacture in Europe. A contract has already been signed to supply at least 5,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide annually to the South Korean company EcoPro, which will process it into cathode material in Debrecen, Hungary.

    On January 31, AMG N.V. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, AMG Lithium GmbH (“AMG Lithium”), signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with FREYR Battery, a developer of clean, next-generation battery cell production capacity. The basis of the MOU is for AMG Lithium to supply FREYR between 3,000 to 5,000 tons per annum of battery-grade lithium hydroxide. The agreement between AMG Lithium and FREYR further lays out deepening the understanding of the technical requirements and future needs of both parties. In particular, the reduction of the carbon footprint throughout the supply chain is a common goal for both parties.

    On March 22, AMG N.V. announced its 25 percent stake in Zinnwald Lithium Plc, and the admission of the newly issued ordinary shares took place on March 29. The lithium development company, which has an approved mining license, plans to supply around 12,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide annually near Dresden in the future to meet the battery needs of EVs in Europe.

    “Establishing a raw material base close to our Bitterfeld operations has logistical and strategic benefits for AMG,” commented Dr. Heinz Schimmelbusch. “The site in the heart of the European chemical and automotive industry is well on its way to becoming the lithium hydroxide hotspot for batteries in Europe.”
  11. Andre S. 18 april 2023 17:12
    Dit is een groot signaal voor de toekomst van lithium:

    Scania’s commitment aan batterij elektrische voertuigen

    De snelle ontwikkeling van elektrische oplossingen voor zware voertuigen omvat de snelle vooruitgang van accutechnologie met betrekking tot energieopslagcapaciteit per kg. De laadtijd, laadcycli en rendabiliteit per kg verbeteren snel. Dit betekent dat deze oplossingen kosteneffectiever worden, voornamelijk in repetitieve en voorspelbare toepassingen. Ze zullen de belangrijkste door fossiele en biobrandstof aangedreven motoren van Scania in de meeste transporttoepassingen geleidelijk inhalen.

    “We zien dat batterij elektrische oplossingen de eerste emissievrije technologie is die een brede markt bereikt. Voor de klant heeft een batterij elektrisch voertuig minder onderhoud nodig dan een conventioneel voertuig, wat een hogere uptime en lagere kosten per km of uur bedrijfsduur betekent. We hebben geleerd van het bussegment waar de transformatie eerder begon en er veel vraag is naar batterij elektrische opties. De timing van Scania in dat segment was niet optimaal, maar het leverde goede ervaringen op en we versnellen momenteel met de nieuwe serie Scania bussen. Het gaf ons ook een goede basiskennis bij het uitbreiden van de activiteiten op het gebied van elektrische vrachtwagens”, zegt Alexander Vlaskamp, Head Sales and en Marketing bij Scania.

    Het bedrijf heeft al een volledig elektrische truck en een plug-in hybride truck op de markt gebracht. Over een paar jaar is Scania van plan om elektrische trucks voor lange afstanden te introduceren die 4,5 uur lang met een totaal gewicht van 40 ton en die snel opladen tijdens de verplichte 45 minuten rust van de chauffeur.

    Scania verwacht dat tegen 2025 elektrische voertuigen goed zullen zijn voor ongeveer 10 procent van onze totale verkoopvolumes van voertuigen in Europa en tegen 2030 zal naar verwachting 50 procent van onze totale verkoopvolumes van voertuigen bestaan uit elektrische voertuigen.

    Batterij elektrisch vs. waterstof

    Scania heeft geïnvesteerd in waterstoftechnologieën en is momenteel de enige fabrikant van zware voertuigen met voertuigen die actief zijn bij klanten. De ingenieurs hebben waardevolle inzichten verkregen uit deze vroege tests en de inspanningen zullen worden voortgezet. Het gebruik van waterstof voor dergelijke toepassingen zal voorlopig echter beperkt zijn, aangezien er drie keer zoveel hernieuwbare elektriciteit nodig is om een waterstoftruck van stroom te voorzien in vergelijking met een batterij elektrische vrachtwagen . Er gaat namelijk veel energie verloren bij de productie, distributie en omzetting naar elektriciteit.

    Reparatie en onderhoud moeten ook worden overwogen. De kosten voor een waterstofvoertuig zullen hoger zijn dan voor een batterij elektrisch voertuig, aangezien de systemen ervan complexer zijn, zoals een uitgebreid lucht- en koelsysteem. Bovendien is waterstof een vluchtig gas dat meer onderhoud vereist om de veiligheid te waarborgen.
  12. Andre S. 18 april 2023 20:10
    Amprius 500 Wh/kg Battery Platform was verified as "delivering unprecedented energy density of 500 Wh/kg, 1300 Wh/L," by an independent test lab.

    Jon Bornstein, president of Amprius Lab, said "these cells provide a run time of 200% compared to state-of-the-art graphite cells, while being lighter and smaller than other batteries with the same energy content."

    Prototypes of the battery cell will be shipped to certain customers this year, Amprius said.

    Dubbele van nu. En nog lichter ook. Dit is niet alleen goed nieuws voor de EV's, maar ook voor de luchtvaart.

    Amprius Technologies, Inc. engages in the manufacture and distribution of batteries. Its products are primarily used for existing and emerging aviation applications, including unmanned aerial systems. The company was founded by Mark C. Platshon in 2008 and headquartered in Fremont, CA.
  13. kpt Raketstart 5 mei 2023 12:57
    De groene droom van een waterstof economie zal niet snel uitkomen. Behalve de veel genoemde energieverliezen bij conversie en opslag is H2 uiterst moeilijk om veilig mee te werken. Lekkages, verliezen, afblazen is bijzonder riskant en met een werkdruk van 700 bar dient met H2 werkend systeem niet alleen uiterst zorgvuldig te worden gebouwd, maar zijn er ook veel (verplichte) onderhoudbeurten en inspecties nodig om het veilig te houden. Allemaal veel complexer dan bijvoorbeeld LPG en CNG installaties en die zijn al op veel plaatsen verboden of het gebruik beperkt (mogen niet in P garages bijvoorbeeld). Bij ontsnapping is het gas niet alleen zeer ontbrandbaar, als het niet ontvlamt gaat het reacties aan met CO2 en stikstof. Puur H2 bestaat niet in de atmosfeer maar vormt met CO2 methaangas.
  14. kpt Raketstart 5 mei 2023 13:26
    Hierna kwam nog een stuk in de bewerking maar dat ging verloren. Bottomline is dat waterstof zijn weg wel zal vinden in industie en scheepvaart, mogelijk in de vorm van ammoniak, maar dat voor wegverkeer en huishoudens een grote rol is weggelegd voor Li ion techniek en dat er flink geinvesteerd moet worden in de hele productie keten.
  15. Lithium Koning 18 mei 2023 02:32
    Lithium carbonate prices rose past CNY 200,000 per tonne, extending its rebound from the 19-month low of CNY 165,500 on April 24th amid renewed optimism for electric battery demand. Fresh data showed that NEV sales and output in China both soared by 110% year-on-year in April, trimming concerns about poor demand levels at the start of the year. During the first quarter, the drop in demand coincided with a significant oversupply of batteries in the period as producers took advantage of final inflows of government subsidies and ramped up production until the end of 2022, creating unsustainably high inventory levels.

    Robust expectations for longer-term demand also supported the bets that lithium will extend its rebound from its plunge this year, as government incentives to switch to EVs lead analysts to forecast that lithium demand by 2040 will be 16 times higher than present-day levels.
  16. Duurzame Harrie 8 juni 2023 01:32
    quote:

    Lithium Koning schreef op 18 mei 2023 02:32:

    Lithium carbonate prices rose past CNY 200,000 per tonne, extending its rebound from the 19-month low of CNY 165,500 on April 24th amid renewed optimism for electric battery demand. Fresh data showed that NEV sales and output in China both soared by 110% year-on-year in April, trimming concerns about poor demand levels at the start of the year. During the first quarter, the drop in demand coincided with a significant oversupply of batteries in the period as producers took advantage of final inflows of government subsidies and ramped up production until the end of 2022, creating unsustainably high inventory levels.

    Robust expectations for longer-term demand also supported the bets that lithium will extend its rebound from its plunge this year, as government incentives to switch to EVs lead analysts to forecast that lithium demand by 2040 will be 16 times higher than present-day levels.
    Lithium carbonate prices were at the CNY 300,000 per tonne level in late May, the highest since March and holding the sharp rebound from the 19-month low of CNY 165,500 from April 24th amid a recovery in demand for electric vehicle batteries. The latest data showed that NEV sales and output in China both soared by 110% year-on-year in April, trimming concerns about poor demand levels at the start of the year. During the first quarter, the drop in demand coincided with a significant oversupply of batteries as producers took advantage of final inflows of government subsidies and ramped up production until the end of 2022, creating unsustainably high inventory levels.

    Robust expectations for longer-term demand also supported lithium prices, as government incentives to switch to EVs lead analysts to forecast that lithium demand by 2040 will be 16 times higher than present-day levels.
  17. mmpm 13 juni 2023 13:17
    quote:

    kpt Raketstart schreef op 5 mei 2023 12:57:

    De groene droom van een waterstof economie zal niet snel uitkomen. Behalve de veel genoemde energieverliezen bij conversie en opslag is H2 uiterst moeilijk om veilig mee te werken. Lekkages, verliezen, afblazen is bijzonder riskant en met een werkdruk van 700 bar dient met H2 werkend systeem niet alleen uiterst zorgvuldig te worden gebouwd, maar zijn er ook veel (verplichte) onderhoudbeurten en inspecties nodig om het veilig te houden. Allemaal veel complexer dan bijvoorbeeld LPG en CNG installaties en die zijn al op veel plaatsen verboden of het gebruik beperkt (mogen niet in P garages bijvoorbeeld). Bij ontsnapping is het gas niet alleen zeer ontbrandbaar, als het niet ontvlamt gaat het reacties aan met CO2 en stikstof. Puur H2 bestaat niet in de atmosfeer maar vormt met CO2 methaangas.
    Ik zou patent aanvragen op dit beschreven proces, is regelrechte een unieke uitvinding die veel problemen gaan oplossen.

    Ontvlambaar na ontsnappen moet je beter nuanceren watnt dat is bijna nooit het geval, je zal eerder kanlgas krijgen bij een bepaalde verhouding met Zuurstof uit de lucht, maar die verhouding krijg je bij lekkages bijna nooit. Als het niet ontvlamt gaat het reacties aan gaan met CO2 en Stikstof, nu dat is de echte noviteit :)
    Stikstof in de lucht ( N2 ) is een inert gas wat praktisch nergens mee reageert dus ook geen Waterstof, Spontane reactie van Waterstof met CO2 tot Methaangas daar is de complete wetenschappelijke wereld naar op zoek dus je hebt echt goud in handen :)
  18. Gerard M. 13 juni 2023 16:39
    www.spiegel.de/international/business...

    Stukken uit het artikel over AMG Critical Materials ( voorheen AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group ):

    Europe at Risk of Losing the Lithium Race
    Without lithium, copper and rare earths, our mobile phones, electric cars and wind turbines wouldn't function. Currently we are almost exclusively dependent on China for these critical raw materials. But there might be a way out.
    The European Commission now admits that Europe is "heavily dependent” on raw materials from China, leading to a "vulnerability” in the EU economy. Depending on the material, a maximum of 7 percent of European demand is met by production facilities in Europe. In other words, in the best case, 93 percent of demand for the vitally important metals must be met through imports – and 100 percent in the worst case.

    Europe’s future smells like scorched metal. Sparks are flying, workers wearing protective goggles cut with unwavering focus through metal pipes. Here in the industrial park in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, just north of Leipzig, where AGFA once developed the first functioning color film in the world, a new German industrial miracle is taking shape: Europe’s first lithium refinery.

    The man hoping to realize the project is named Dr. Heinz C. Schimmelbusch, a 78-year-old known lovingly as "Schibu” in the world of raw materials. Schimmelbusch is far from being an unknown: He is the former director of the legendary German industrial conglomerate Metallgesellschaft, once one of the country’s largest. Born in Vienna, he has bright blue eyes, carefully parted hair and a larger-than-life ego to match his reputation. The executive, whose career had actually seemed to come to an end 30 years ago, wants to build a final monument to himself with this latest project. And already, his refinery is being viewed as a key piece in Germany’s economic puzzle going forward.

    Schibu’s company, called Advanced Metallurgical Group, or AMG for short, hopes to begin producing lithium hydroxide this year. It is the stuff that ecological dreams are made of, a metallic salt that is necessary for car batteries, wind turbines and solar facilities, the key to electromobility. The United Nations calls it "a pillar for a fossil fuel-free economy.” Approximately 10 kilograms of the stuff can be found in the battery of an electric SUV, such as BMW’s iX.

    Soon, Schimmelbusch is hoping to refine 20,000 tons of lithium hydroxide per year in Bitterfeld, enough for half a million electric cars. Within just a few years, the plan calls for the total to increase to 100,000 tons annually. The raw material necessary is to initially come from Schimmelbusch’s own mine in Brazil, but might one day even be sourced from mines in Germany itself. The executive is currently investing hundreds of millions of euros to make that happen. "We have to act now. Otherwise, we’ll run out of time,” he says.

    The European Union Intelligence and Situation Center (INTCEN) recently warned that Beijing could seek to take advantage of its market position on batteries and solar cells. The European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE) has noted that China is increasingly turning to "economic coercion” as an instrument of geopolitical power.

    The fact that Schimmelbusch, approaching his 80th birthday, has had to jump into the breach says a lot about the failure of German industry. For many years, senior German executives showed little interest in the issue of critical natural resources, with vital corporations like Siemens, BMW, Daimler, Thyssen and BASF largely unconcerned. The world, says one chemical industry executive, "was free, the markets were open, and prices were low.” Why bother devoting valuable capital to company-owned raw materials storage facilities? Why take the risk of exploiting resources oneself? Why take direct responsibility for environmental degradation and for provoking the anger of locals? Indeed, why submit to all that stress when the model of just-in-time purchases, mostly from China, was working just fine? "It was a huge advantage for use,” the chemical industry executive says. "We didn’t have to deal with the environmental mess and were able to receive quality products at reasonable prices.”

    The European Commission now admits that Europe is "heavily dependent” on raw materials from China, leading to a "vulnerability” in the EU economy. Depending on the material, a maximum of 7 percent of European demand is met by production facilities in Europe. In other words, in the best case, 93 percent of demand for the vitally important metals must be met through imports – and 100 percent in the worst case.

    And the West's vulnerability is growing every day. According to the European Commission, the demand for lithium for batteries alone will increase 90 times the current level by 2050. The U.S. government already expects interest in such critical materials to increase by up to 600% by 2030.

    Concerns have become so great that raw material supplies were a major focus of the recent G-7 summit in Japan. Though the heads of state and government were unable to agree on the establishment of a "Critical Raw Materials Club,” as the European Commission had recently proposed, a five-point plan was devised for the identification and exploitation of sources for critical metals and minerals.

    "We want to change the situation,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said recently at the opening of the Hannover Messe. But how?

    For years, China had practiced aggressive price dumping to run its competitors into the ground, forcing mines in the U.S., Australia and Africa to close because they were unable to keep up with the low prices the Chinese were charging. But in the second half of 2010, the country’s leadership ordered that instead of the normal export total of 28,000 tons, only half be sent abroad.

    The lesson from that episode should have been: China won’t shy away from leveraging its raw materials to promote its interests. And the country’s goal of dominating the world market has long since expanded far beyond national borders.

    One of the few who is attempting to stand up to Beijing’s market domination is Schimmelbusch. Right in the middle of the verdant hills of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, among the coffee plantations and cattle grazing lands, is a 180-meter-deep crater. Bulldozers and excavators are digging up the earth, while forklifts are loading up gigantic trucks with plastic bags. They contain spodumene, a mineral ground down into a white powder – and one of the primary commodities from which lithium can be extracted.

    In order to turn a profit, it came in the form of "Doctor Li,” as Schimmelbusch calls him. Li Nanping is head of General Lithium, one of the market giants from China. Schimmelbusch says that the company immediately bought the largely unprocessed blocks of lithium ore – "and thus took on the associated risk.”

    Since 2018, the AMG mine has been producing 90,000 tons of spodumene per year, a total that will be boosted to 130,000 tons starting this summer.

    That is the cheapest route. But Schimmelbusch’s clients like Mercedes are increasingly prepared to pay a bit more if it means greater supply security. As soon as Schimmelbusch’s facility in Bitterfeld is finished, the ore from Brazil will all be sent to Germany for processing, leaving China out of the equation.
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